The greatest weakness is strength. Staying strong prevents adaptation, it's pure ego. Let go and flow - that's strong.
Einstein once said "most people give up when they are 99% of the way to the finish line... " he claims that in his observation the difference between getting what you want and losing it, is the willingness to suffer the hard times when doubt, fear, uncertainty and confusion overwhelm us with a desire to run away.
The frist step of the Back on Track 30 Day Challenge is to note down your intent. This may be a great thing to do today for yourself. Mapping your intent is important because it is this map that can guide you across the line and into success, love and health when you feel a bit like abandoning ship.
Ask yourself "What do I want to experience and feel in your WORK, RELATIONSHIP, SOCIAL LIFE, HEALTH, WEALTH, SPIRITUALITY AND MENTAL WISDOM. List those down the left side of a page at least like this:
I want to feel youthful
I want to feel light and energetic
I want to feel strong in my body
I want to be able to swim easily
I want to feel love and loved by my partner
I want to feel devoted and tender with my partner
I want to feel trust and trusted
I want to feel like my partner values me
Then, go down the right side of the page - and opposite each one of the intentions, write the opposite.
I am going to feel old sometimes
I am going to feel heavy and lethargic sometimes
I am going to feel weak in my body sometimes
I am going to be unable to swim easily sometimes
I am going to feel unloved and unloving toward my partner sometimes
I am going to feel not devoted or tender with my partner sometimes
I am not going to trust or be trusted by my partner sometimes
I am going to feel devalued by my partner sometimes
Go down this list of opposites and think to yourself -- what am I going to do when I feel this opposite experience in my INTENT? Do I have a process to deal with it and to bring me back on track?
This is the key that Einstein and the Universal laws of nature advocate, learning to adapt is wiser that reacting because there are always two sides to your intent: The one you want, and the opposite... If you set this up well, your reactions to the opposites will not dishearten you at all....
Nature is a special place, where dreams meet reality and reality can transfigure itself into a sign or symbol, or a pure expression of culture. Nature as Giorgio Armani observes it is eternal, infinite and powerful, seemingly simple yet always producing different paths through which to reconcile desire and fantasy. Emotions that change the meaning of everyday life and transform it.
Inside every human being there is a fight that can't be won. It's a fight between dualities, between head and heart, left brain and right brain, short term pleasure and long term results.
It's a fight that can't be eliminated, but with compassion and kindness, that fight can truly become a great inspiration and asset.
To live with kindness we need to acknowledge this internal battle as the inner fight and let it do for us as nature intended: The inner struggle will do what nature intended it to do if we stop fighting it. So, rather than fight it, we need to follow nature's guide to reconcile that struggle and use it to our own advantage.
You already know that one satisfied desire simply leads to another desire, this is at the heart of this inner conflict. The notion of contentment, inner peace, happiness is therefore, in a real life of achievement and materiality, a myth.
If we focus our life on achieving happiness, contentment, inner peace, or even peace we will live deep into the moment, and in the process sacrifice the long term. The pain of regret always outweighs the pain of discipline. People who seek short term pleasure experience long term pain. It's the inner conflict of being human repeated in nature and repeated over and over in our own life.
Disappointment in SEEKING HAPPINESS
The person who thinks that their next decision, next workshop, next weight loss program will bring them to contentment and satisfaction with life, for the rest of their life is never confident, always disappointed and therefore unable to be kind, either to themselves, or others. You know that there are supposedly two sides to the brain, left brain logic and right brain sensory emotion, and these two sides are continually wrestling for superiority. Which will you trust today - the logical and pragmatic answer that's going to create long term results with short term pain, or the emotional sensory answer that is in the moment that has short term pleasure and long term pain. Pain and pleasure, always balance in the end, the question is just about time frame.
RELATIONSHIPS AND THE MYTH OF CONTENTMENT
My story.... Many years ago I was in a good relationship but a little bored with life. All was on track. One day, I went to a Yoga class and was taught a myth. I saw a gorgeous yoga teacher, with a great body, speaking about love and life purpose and happiness. I went home and suddenly felt discontent with my own, perfectly good relationship. What my life looked like, compared to the promise of the Eastern teaching was shit. I started to feel resentful and wrote, "this yoga teacher has shown me that there is more to life than a regular relationship, that there is a mystical, spiritual, good feeling outcome to life that I am not experiencing" Months later, my partner had an affair. She just needed a real man in her life, not one comparing her and his relationship with her, to a myth. I eventually wrote "after three years of doing yoga, living in India, I've had a few relationships and have come to the conclusion that even that yoga teacher I infatuated was boring outside the yoga room, and all the guru's are not all happy, they are normal and sad and angry outside of the yoga class, the theory that was sold to me, and in all the books about being happy and spiritual, was about moments in time in life, truly presented it was not sustainable. It was never meant to be a permanent state of mind, rather, it was meant to be a place to return to in our mind, a place we call home.
The Real Story
I think that if we are to live our life with kindness, we are wise to reject what doesn't work. The unhappiest, loneliest, most regretful people I have met listen to self-help guru's, read books about self-help and watch tv shows that demonstrate half life reality. They get sadder and listen longer.
I find that to go sit under a tree without a book and start to witness life, as it really is, makes strength of conviction to follow my heart and do what I do with love and inspiration. This gives me a beautiful understanding of compassion and kindness and then it starts to emerge organically, not theoretically or forced. Sitting under the tree looking around at nature we see that we are, like nature, a contradiction between the now and the future.
In Nature there is always a contradiction. The flower looks perfect, but at the same time, it is impermanent and must die to the earth to make space for more. The happiness of the moment and the pain of discipline always arguing. Pleasure and pain, in harmony.
We are nature. We are both happy and sad, we are smart and dumb. We are growing and shrinking. We are good and bad. We are enlightened and endarkened. We are a sweet and sour. The more we fake being half of one of those contradictory pairs, like I did, trying to emulate the yoga teacher outside the yoga class, the darker our home life or work life will have to become in order to find balance.
Kindness starts with compassion for our true nature and rejecting the half notion that if we change something, do something or create something we will be different. How can kindness be based on anything changing? If our giving is based on some idea of changing something, somebody, making someone happier or better or smarter, then our kindness is not kindness, it is the desire to change, and that lacks appreciation, assumes that, at sometime in the future appreciation will arrive.
Really, if we are trying to fix something, or somebody, we are being judgemental and that is the opposite to kindness.
Following nature's law, if you say to yourself "I am stupid" then with kindness you will add "and the benefit is that I am so open to learn, I remain a student" but if you say "I am stupid" with anger toward yourself, you cannot ever be kind to yourself, or for that matter others. So, kindness and compassion require that we unlearn, or discard ideas of half life, half emotion, half experience.
Giving kindness requires that you have compassion for yourself - then you will not be hard on others. Some people are hard on themselves, they might even be cruel, a bully, a change agent, a therapist or a teacher of Eastern arts who believes everybody needs to change to their way of thinking. That's anarchy.
We can't give what we haven't got. If we have no compassion for ourselves, then we cannot give kindness to others. That's a no brainer really. And compassion for ourselves can only come from the acceptance of the struggle between the inner conflicts: Short term versus long term, left brain versus right brain, heart versus mind. These are irreconcilable differences. The inner conflict is a part of being human. Learning to love this inner conflict is the route to stillness and ultimately, self-respect.
The danger is to become disconnected from nature and live according to books and ideals of who we should or could be if we were different. Then the outcome is to live the half life of the mundane. That comes from trying to find the place in life where only half of the emotional keyboard plays, and the other darker keys become an escape obsession. Blaming any sadness, anger, disappointment on a partner, friend and business colleague.
Kindness means acceptance. That's the first key to a great loving relationship and the most vital key to good parenting. It starts with a single choice... The choice to stop criticising our life, ourselves and our actions as being anything but beautiful, perfect and love generating. That's really life's purpose summarised.
Whether you work alone or in a team of 10,000 people, a culture of Human Potential is a vital key to your own survival.
You can change the culture of your family or organisation, by being different, by stepping away from the moaning, groaning, disempowered, norm of mundane work, and stepping up with a commitment to the quality of your own work life. A Culture of Human Potential goes like this:
To get more done in less time. To do what you do with increasing excellence. To go home with more energy than you came to work with. To bring home the best you and yet, to grow everyday of your life in the responsibility you carry. This is the way to improved self leadership at work. Don't wait for the company to do it to you. That'll cost you at work and at home.
I think it begins with a deep respect for human nature, nature, and the way people can act in harmony with it. People are often lazy at work, they blame the work or the boss or the market. They want the world to comply. In doing so they lose their power. So, instead of this, A Culture of Human Potential works on three levels.
Engage: Engage human enthusiasm, commitment and heart investment through unlocking each individual's Vision, Inspiration and Purpose and then link this to the company /team vision. This is the LCM process (Loyalty, Commitment and Motivation Process)
Empower: Empower each individual through the process of awareness, discarding the blame and victim culture and replacing it with an inspired self awareness. Understanding the difference between evolving and desperation, from Got to thinking to Inspired thinking.
Enlighten: Enlighten an attitude of gratitude, presence, certainty and love in communication and attitude to encourage a culture that takes pride in getting more done in less time. Doing what you do with increasing excellence. Going home with more energy than you came to work with. Bringing home the best you and yet, to grow everyday of your life in the responsibility you carry.
This is the way to improved self leadership at work. Instead of waiting for the company to do it to you, commit yourself to a better quality of work and home life by not blaming the job, Engaging, Empowering and Enlightening your workplace starting with YOU.
"Balance TIme in A Business Suit with Time in a Wet Suit - Nicola Speer"
100% of All confusion comes from working or living on low priorities. If you hear yourself ask what should or shouldn't I do, then you are absolutely conning yourself.
If you are conning yourself it means that you are buying into somebody else's value set. Should, is a word we use to either internally abuse ourselves or externally empower some body else.
If you read the Dalai Lama's book, Happiness, and you start to embrace the recommendations of the book then you might start to say, "I should do as the Dalai Lama says." Which, in simple terms is self abuse.
Why not do what you say? Aren't you already smart enough to know what is right and wrong for you? When we learn about life we start saying I should do this and I shouldn't do that. And I guess as a child this is really important otherwise we'll get into all sorts of trouble.
But at what time are you going to take the power back? I mean eventually you will have to say "I am sick and tired of hearing myself say I should do this and I should do that." On about the same day as you hear yourself say those words you will also hear yourself say, "I'm sick of people telling me that I should do this and I shouldn't do that.' ADVICE FROM OTHER PEOPLE ISN'T WORTH THE PAPER IT'S WRITTEN ON
In the Back on Track program you are encouraged to learn your values. When you know your values you will not be conning yourself. Instead you will say that every choice I make either supports or challenges my values. If it supports your higher values then it's a good choice. If it supports your lower values and then it's a bad choice. If it supports all your values then you are lying to yourself.
What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for the weather to be better? It won't happen. Are you waiting for the perfect partner? It won't happen. Are you waiting until all your troubles go away? It won't happen. Are you waiting for your life to be simplified? It will never happen.
One time I was sitting in Zen for three solid weeks in the forest. My teacher was a grumpy hairy unwashed bastard who always fell asleep meditating and would forget to ring the break bell. We'd wake him with coughs. Shit it hurt sitting like that.
Anyway, while sitting in Zen I really did reach enlightenment. Afterward I did a poo and it was terrible. So much for enlightenment being a solution to the downside of life.
So, for three weeks in this Zen retreat I was in nirvana or somewhere. Then, at the end, when we were allowed to speak for the first time in three bloody weeks, I said to the bastard Zen master "mother .. Fu....er I am so detached.
He responded "your attachment to your detachment is now your biggest problem"!shit... Back to fish and chips for dinner.
At that time I gave up trying to be something, do something and get something. It was the first time in my life I actually realised that I had a superiorority complex. I mean I thought I was god's gift to humanity. I wasn't
Then I began to regret that I'd spent so much of my life trying. I mean, emulating, duplicating, imitating, contemplating, instead of celebrating.
That was the day I remember. Because that day was the day I stopped waiting for something to get better in order to be happier.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
- Robert Byrne
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain
The first thing to do in life is to do with purpose what one proposes to do.
- Pablo Casals
To reach a port, we must sail - sail, not tie at anchor, sail not drift.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.
- Abraham Maslow
I have brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.
- Benjamin Disraeli
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead
I'm sure you have a theme: the theme of your life. You can embellish it or desecrate it, but it's your theme, and as long as you follow it, you will experience harmony and peace of mind.
- Agatha Christie
A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder.
- Eileen Caddy
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.
- Albert Einstein
The aim of life is self-development, to realize one's nature perfectly.
- Oscar Wilde
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way.
The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.
- Hugh Black
I know that I have found fulfillment. I have an object in life, a task ... a passion.
- George Sand
Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.
- Washington Irving
Figure out what your purpose is in life, what you really and truly want to do with your time and your life; then be willing to sacrifice everything and then some to achieve it. If you are not willing to make the sacrifice, then keep searching.
- Quintina Ragnacci
This is true joy in life -- being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as mighty.
- George Bernard Shaw
No man or woman is an island. To exist just for yourself is meaningless. You can achieve the most satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life, something greater than yourself.
- Dennis Waitley
My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose.
- Bette Davis
Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
- John F. Kennedy
If Heaven made him - earth can find some use for him.
- Chinese Proverb
If you know with a complete absence of doubt that what you are doing is consistent with your own purpose and that you are involved in accomplishing a great affair, then you are at peace with yourself and in harmony with your own heroic mission.
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
The secret of success is consistency of purpose.
- Benjamin Disraeli
Purpose is the quality we choose to shape our lives around.
- Richard J. Leider
A Paper by Chris Walker - The Roots of Real Personal and Global Change
In our world today, we face some real unadvertised, problems - and these should be of concern to every human. Those problems attack the essence of our international quality of life, and they seem, by all measures, to be getting worse. At the heart of these issues is a lack of real questioning of the currently accepted range of solutions - especially for those of you, who work. 1/ Work Pressure is increasing.
Everyone needs to do more, in less time. (unless of course you work for the Government, have a public service job or belong to a trade union with socialist roots) but in the real nuts and bolts world of work, the pressure is increasing exponentially. 2/ Family life is being challenged.
Although we link work pressure to the quality of our family life, that's really a furfy, a smoke screen. The real fact of the matter is that we expect more out of relationships so we tolerate less crap, our children are facing a new and more confused world and the costs of maintaining a simple home are becoming ridiculous. 3/ Health standards are falling.
Blame this on three variables. Technology, time and the advent of Self-Indulgence on a stick.
4/ Silence is harder to find.
- Technology because we've learned how to pack, sack, stack, and rack food in bundles that look like food, taste like food, smell like food, but aren't. We've also turned our life into a "screen" driven game with computer, TV, Video, DVD, Ipod, Blue Ray, so we sit on our butt a lot.
- Second, time - because what was once a priority - having fun, throwing a ball, playing a game - has now become a science - and therefore - for most people - not enjoyable activity for healthy living.
- Third, the ME, ME, ME, ME, ME world. You may have noticed that uppers are getting easier to find and that any firm who sells an upper, is growing. Happier, Higher, Faster - that's the call of the era. More booze, faster drugs, more sugar, salt and coffee is sold in a year now than in ten years only a few short years down the path. We're on a treadmill - the SELF is God and we're doing a lot of praying.
Noise - more and more noise - peace of mind has become an ambition rather than a foundation for life. People listen to IPODs and go to meditations for peace of mind, when, in reality, peace of mind is the very substance of being human. No person functions - long term - in noise. The solution?
Our ego loves to divide. It divides all our life into four key splits:
- Pleasure or Painful
- Self or Other
- Male or Female
- Good or Evil
and that is where the noise begins. Even those who are fighting for good are making noise. They swing their side of a global pendulum just one degree further to one side and therefore breed its opposite. All arguments come from this polarity of a right without a wrong, or, righteousness. Silence
We are wiser than we think. Beneath the noise of life each and every human being on earth has the power of great wisdom. Getting past the mind noise, the buzz of uppers, the to and fro of relationship, to find that silence, this is love.
And it's good to remember in corporate space that you can forget team building if mind noise increases - really, love plays a key role in profit and human potential too. This falls short of corporate speak or the mechanical ego systems of HR departments. Balance
There is one space in which mind noise cannot thrive, survive. And that space is balance. If pleasure and pain, good and evil, masculine and feminine, self and other are balanced, no noise can exist. This is called, love … Inspiration
The quality of our motivation determines our mind noise. The most desperate individual will tap their mind with worry, anxiety, doubt and confusion and the noise will feed on itself. They may even seek isolation but mind noise gets only temporary relief from isolation and space. Silence must be achieved in the noisiest place, for life to be full, not in the quietest.
Silence is not quiet. Silence is better known as stillness. Stillness is, in fact dynamic. Stillness is a calm that exists, a certainty, confidence. To develop stillness one must have the courage to love without condition, to be inspired irrespective of circumstance, to rise out of cruddy stories and to choose friends wisely.
When the time is right...
For those who are ready no words are necessary - for those who are not, no words are possible.
Yesterday I spoke about the dual response to the question:
"If you could choose anybody on earth to be your partner, would you choose who you are with?
The answer for most people is yes and no.
I spoke about the fact that there's an inherent mix up in that when we are in relationship for any period of time we start thinking (comparing) our life to the freedom of being single or in the least - our partner being different"
Let's deal with this first "the soul, our heart is searching for someone. That search leads us to love. But the person we are actually searching for is ourselves, to love our own soul, but we think it is somebody else's. so, when we feel we found perfection, and we have, some part of us keeps searching. That spiritual core of our humanity will never be satisfied, especially in a job, family or relationship.
"Nothing of the senses ever satisfied the soul"
Health impacts people. And given that workplaces need positively impacted people, health is a good start.
Health is only one of the seven areas of life and for some people, it is their top value so, they are probably healthy, would respond well to improving health at work, and would be positively impacted.
Others are going to need a little more encouragement and won't be as automatically engaged in health programs, they deserve respect too.
Bottom line? Good health is one of seven areas of life from which positive impact at work can be derived and is often ignored. Lets include it as a workplace responsibility, but not get infatuated about it. Here's a great a great article on how to: